Why Did God Abandon Jesus?

Sheila WalshBy Sheila Walsh5 Minutes

Excerpt from Holding on When You Want to Let Go: Clinging to Hope When Life Is Falling Apart by Sheila Walsh.

Why did God abandon Jesus? — So YOU would never be alone!

No matter what might be shaking the foundation of your life right now, because of what Jesus did, you will never be abandoned or left alone.

God was willing, in Christ, to leave the glory of Heaven and become a vulnerable child. He was willing to walk where we walk, weep where we weep, and on the cross receive the punishment for every one of our sins. We have a Savior who has suffered more than any one of us ever will.

I don’t mean to minimize your suffering; let me explain. On the cross, when the sky turned midnight black, Christ was utterly alone. I can’t begin to imagine what it was like for Christ, the perfect, sinless Lamb of God, to have His Father turn His face away from Him. Their eternal union was broken for three long, agonizing hours.

We are simply allowed to listen to His cries: “My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?” (Mark 15:34 NLT).

Let’s stay there for a moment. It’s easy to think we know the story and hurry over those devastating hours to get to the moment when Christ victoriously rose from the dead. When we do that, we miss the profound empathy our Savior has for the depth of our suffering because He has been there.

Jewish historian Josephus records that three o’clock in the afternoon was when the evening sacrifice was made. The one true Passover Lamb was about to be sacrificed for us.

Christ had been on the cross since nine o’clock in the morning. Three hours of physical agony yet nothing compared to what the next three hours would hold. When the sky turned dark, for the first time in eternity, God turned His face away from His Son. Christ wasn’t simply quoting from Psalm 22 when he cried out, “My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?” He was living it.

During those three hours, Christ, who had never sinned, was treated as if He had committed every sin that those of us who would come to trust in Him had ever committed. Addiction, adultery, greed, abortion, self-righteousness, pride, hatred, bitterness, unforgiveness…the list is endless. Christ drained the cup of the wrath of God to the very last drop—too much for us to comprehend.

Christ did not deserve what happened to Him, but it was His choice because He loves you. It was His choice to fulfill every promise ever made to us from Genesis through Revelation.

If you have ever felt alone, abandoned, forgotten, I want you to know that Christ is right there with you. He knows what it feels like to be tossed into that dark, filthy ditch.

He was disregarded. You are seen.

His cries were ignored. You are heard.

He was abandoned. You are never alone.

That is a rock-solid promise!

My dear friend Dr. David Jeremiah writes that Hebrews 13:5 can be translated this way: “I will never, by no means leave you, and I will never, by no means utterly forsake you.”


By no means.

Whatever your pain is, whatever happened to you that still torments you, I ask you now in the name of Jesus to reject the lie of the enemy that you were abandoned, all alone. You were never abandoned. And you were never alone. Your pain is real, but you are not alone. You were not then. You are not now. You will never be abandoned. You are held by that promise of God.

Published by Baker Books ©2021. Used by permission.

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